My husband and I have begun to do a Bible study together every Saturday. Since we have pretty opposite schedules during the week, I REALLY cherish the time we have on Saturdays because it’s time that, if we guard it, no one else and nothing else interrupts it. We both agree that, since starting the Bible study, we both feel more peace and love in our marriage and more desire to spend time with the Lord, individually, as well.
About 3 weeks ago we began reading Acts together. So…this week we read Acts 3. It was somewhat difficult, at first, to feel moved by this passage, but then God really laid a message on my heart that I felt like really needed to be shared.
Acts 3:14-16, 19-20 “But you (talking to the leaders of the Temple of Jerusalem and their followers) denied the Holy and Righteous one, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And His name- by faith in His name- has made this man (a cripple that was often at the gate asking for charity) strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all…19 Repent, therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ (meaning savior) appointed for you, Jesus.”
The way Peter talks begins from the perspective of man but then shows how awesome God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness is.
From man’s perspective, if someone wrongs you, it’s natural to hate, be angry, or want revenge. It would be the idea of, if a person murdered your child or family member and they were about to fall of the side of a cliff, that some people would say it’s right or natural to let them fall. Some would say they “deserve” it.
In this case, Peter’s talking to the people that rejected Christ, called for His torture and execution, and all for the trade of a serial murderer. They would have rather had a MURDERER than Jesus Christ. Again, some would say, “well, forget them! They don’t deserve to have a 2nd chance.” Yet, this verse shows just how much God loves AND forgives, no matter WHAT the sin. He even died for the salvation of those that betrayed and rejected His gift and He offers it back anyway.
On the side of the cliff, He grabs the hand of the murderer that tortured and killed His child- because He forgave.
People say God can’t forgive them, that they’ve done too much or gone too far away from God, but this shows that’s not true. Peter is saying this to people that sinned, that went too far, and even KILLED an innocent man, yet God was still willing to forgive them, accept them back if they repented, and wanted them as part of kingdom. If anyone could’ve said, “God can’t forgive me, I’ve done too much,” it would’ve been them, yet God still offered Himself and His forgiveness to them. So, no matter what you do, He is willing to forgive and love.